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More delays for Starlink 9 / BlackSky

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

On June 24th the static fire test was completed with the intended launch date of June 28th, after numerous delays, The current NET launch time is unknown for the Falcon 9 Rocket to launch from LC-39A carrying 57 more Starlink Satellites and two Earth observation micro satellites for BlackSky Global.

For those keeping track at home, SpaceX will be launching their 10th overall launch of Starlink satellites, for the 9th Starlink mission. With 538 satellites in current orbit, this launch of 57 more will bring the total up to 598 operational satellites. The company has permits to launch nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites from the Federal Communications Commission. The spacecrafts will broadcast internet coverage to almost every where on the planet Earth.

Also for those rocket fans keeping track of how many times each booster flies, booster 1051.4 has previously made four flights to space and returned safely back to Earth. When all goes well this will be the second rocket to successfully launch to space and return safely to Earth, and is currently the only rocket in the SpaceX fleet to have launched from all three available launch pads, most famously used for the DM-1 launch in March of 2019. That was the first test flight of the Crew Dragon capsule.

(Booster 1051 seen shortly after the scrub July 8th, still venting from it's super cooled liquid fuel.)

This will also be the second Starlink launch now they launch another companies satellites on board as part of their ride share program. BlackSky Global, based out of Seattle will be launching two Earth observation satellites. Currently BlackSky has four satellites in orbit from launches in 2018 and 2019 and is hoping to have 16 total satellites in low Earth orbit by early 2021. The company has a long term goal of operating a constellation of 60 satellites and will pursue that amount based on the demand for its optical imagery. With having 16 in orbit BlackSky can provide one meter resolution imagery with hourly revisit times for most major cities. With 60 satellites total the revisit time would shorten to 10 or 15 minutes, and sharpen the resolution to under one meter.

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